UW Global Launch in London is a year-long academic and experiential opportunity designed for first-year UW students to prepare them for success as global citizens in today’s interconnected world. The selected cohort, led by a UW professor, will engage in classroom learning, guest lecturers, guided visits around London and overnight excursions. While exploring British culture, students will complete core credit requirements and serve the community in which they will live through an international service learning component.
Participants on this program will receive the Chris & Suzy (Oldorf) DeWolf Family Global Launch Scholarship. Awards are: Wisconsin Resident: $20,000; Minnesota Resident: $15,000; Non-resident: $10,000. This scholarship aims to ensure that the cost of study abroad for the first-year is comparable to the on-campus overall cost of attendance.
- Benjamin Ackley
- Benjamin Aydelotte
- Charlotte Bittner
- Peri Charmatz
- Maya Dettwiler
- Kian Dueholm
- Thomas Griffiths
- Isabella (Bella) Kim
- Brita Lawrence
- Maverick Leukert
- Anastasia Prado
- Claire Ranft
- Adam Sherwood
- Ana Shriver
- Gwendolyn (Gwen) Tuffnell
- Jillian Ulrich
- Callum Wilson
- Mya Xiong
Major: Political Sciences Hometown: Centerville, Minnesota
The DeWolf Family Scholarship heavily impacted my participation in the program, as it made it much more affordable for me to participate, and I likely would not have been able to do the program without it.
I’m most interested just to see another part of the world and see how small parts of culture differ from one another.
I would say something that is unique about me is my devotion to the arts, as I attended a conservatory high school that had both arts and academic classes. I feel this school was a very unique experience as it not only grew me academically but as a person.
Major: Economics Hometown: Austin, Texas
I have never been more excited to go out and learn everything I can about places and concepts that are foreign to me.
I am most interested to see the impact that European art has had on its own community and the world’s.
I come from a military family with four boys and have never been outside of the United States.
Major: Undecided/Pre-Business Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin
I don’t think that I would have chosen to attend UW-Madison had I not been accepted into the Global Launch Program. I knew I wanted to get out of where I grew up a little, and the only way I was going to attend was through this program! The scholarship also helped my decision since it quieted almost all my financial worries for this next year.
I’m most interested in learning about and experiencing a new culture. I’ve traveled before but I’m excited to immerse myself and expand my worldview.
Something unique about me is when I was little, I aspired to be a flight attendant because I always knew I wanted to travel!
Major: International Studies (B.A.) Hometown: San Francisco, California
While on my gap year, I realized that my experiences studying and traveling in other countries is a passion for me that I knew I would be happy pursuing International Studies. This Global Launch in London Program seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend a year living and learning in another country while still being a part of my University of Wisconsin freshman community. I am grateful that my fellow students and I can participate in this amazing program supported by the DeWolf Family Scholarship.
Relentless curiosity is what I strive for constantly in my studies and in life. I hope this unique program leads me to learn both in and out of the classroom while in London and come away with an appreciation and understanding of British history, traditions, politics, culture, and perspectives — while still being a part of a University of Wisconsin freshman experience.
Something unique about me is the gap year I took! I was able to focus on health and wellbeing, learn more about myself, and reconnect with the explorer in me. I walked our three dogs a lot and played tennis. I worked for a woman-owned start-up business and volunteered at the San Francisco Homeless Prenatal Program (for the third time). And finally, I went to Europe on an EF Gap Semester program. My curiosity to live and learn internationally sparked once again and solidified my desire to pursue International Studies. I was able to take Italian in Rome for a month and then live in Dublin and do an internship working remotely for a woman-run company in London that supports corporations and their management and remote teams with health and wellness programs.
Major: Psychology Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin
Before I knew about the program, I had already applied to UW-Madison but this program definitely made me more confident in my decision to commit to UW-Madison. I knew I wanted to get away from home for college and this was the perfect opportunity to do that. The scholarship definitely helped me, and my family feel more comfortable doing the Global Launch because it covered a huge chunk of the tuition.
I’m very excited to learn about British culture, especially the history, food, and music. I have a feeling I’m really going to enjoy the Music In 20th Century Britain Class (and of course the Harry Potter class as well).
I recently played Pearl in my school’s production of SpongeBob: The Musical. It was my first time ever doing something in theatre and it is one of the highlights of high school.
Major: English Hometown: Milltown, Wisconsin
The program and scholarship didn’t influence my decision as I was already committed to UW-Madison. However, an opportunity to participate in a program like this confirmed that I had made the right choice.
I am so excited to learn about and experience British culture firsthand.
Something unique about me is I have a huge stuffed animal collection and they’re all named.
Major: Political Science Hometown: Minnetonka, Minnesota
The program and the scholarship where probably the things that cemented my enrollment at Madison. My choice was between Madison and one other university, and the program just gave that extra tilt towards Madison along with the generous scholarship provided by the donors to help pay for it. I found that the program was a unique opportunity that no other college I was accepted to had and one that could expand my opportunities in my field of study.
I am interested in learning more about how the British political system works as I am majoring in Political Science and how their system compares to that in the United States.
Something unique about me is that I actively study government and politics as a hobby and not just for school. I personally enjoy looking up different countries political systems and seeing which accepts I would like to see in the U.S as well as how their structures affect how legislation is passed.
Major: International Studies and Spanish with a minor in Korean Hometown: Brookfield, Wisconsin
This program influenced me to apply and enroll at Madison because this is a literal once-in-a-lifetime experience and opportunity to study abroad as a freshman in college and many colleges don’t even have programs that last this long for their freshman to participate in. The scholarship also influenced me to apply and enroll because it is a great scholarship that will greatly help in paying for the program.
I am most interested to learn about the customs and affairs in London and the UK itself as I am very eager to learn about other cultures as well. I am also interested to see how different learning styles may be in London as well.
Something unique about me is I am half Korean and half Hmong. In addition, I like to organize and plan things for fun and am somewhat of a perfectionist.
Major: Undecided Hometown: Hastings, Minnesota
I am excited to learn how to view the world with a global mindset.
I am a very nomadic person, I have moved seven times in my lifetime!
Major: International Studies/Political Science Hometown: Butler, Wisconsin
Although it’s cliché, I’m interested in exploring everything that a new country has to offer in a manner largely inaccessible to non-students. Most people do not get the chance to spend a year abroad. For that I consider myself exceptionally lucky.
Something unique about me is that I can memorize hundreds of digits in sequence.
Major: International Studies Hometown: Waukesha, Wisconsin
Throughout my academic career, I have been blessed with numerous scholarships to help me achieve a higher education. When I brought this opportunity to my parents, cost was a major factor. My parents are strong believers in not allowing cost to be a barrier when it comes to foundational education. This scholarship allowed me to seriously consider this study abroad opportunity, and eventually allowed me to fully commit to it.
I find the UK’s government system and their foreign relations interesting, and I enjoy finding the similarities in our own democratic system. Many of the course options additionally have focus on literature and UK English works and comparing the content to American literature will be fascinating.
Something I think is unique about me is my willingness and ability to test my limitations and capabilities. I find this is the case in a range of scenarios from trying something new, learning a new concept, or pushing myself past the completion of a task to achieve a higher standard than the one before.
Major: Undecided (intending on International Studies with a focus in culture or global security) Hometown: Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
I am most interested to learn about English culture, collaboration with my peers in a foreign place, and what role England plays in the world order and how it has impacted American government and history as well.
Something unique about me is that I went on an exchange program to Granada, Spain for a year during Covid as a junior in high school.
Major: International Studies Hometown: Bayfield, Wisconsin
The DeWolf Family Scholarship was the only reason I saw this program as a possibility, as without it I would not have been able to afford to go. On top of that, The UW Global Launch program was one of the primary reasons I decided on attending UW Madison, prompting me to turn down other all my other offers of admission. I feel an immense sense of gratitude to have been selected for this program, and to be a recipient of this scholarship.
I am most interested in exploring activist organizations in the London area, as that has been something I have pursued heavily while in high school. I plan on looking into volunteering at local LGBTQ+ organizations, as well as local food banks, as these are both areas that I have already done a great deal of volunteer work in. I am also interested in finding new causes and movements to pursue, as I’m sure that London will have many that I have yet to learn about.
I have already lived abroad in the past and have moved around most of my life. From being born in California, to moving to the Twin Cities, to the Middle East, to China, to rural Wisconsin, and finally back to the Twin Cities again, I already feel very used to the idea of venturing off to a new place. However, even though moving has been a common occurrence in my life, the idea of moving to London is still both nerve-wracking and exciting!
Major: Political Science Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin
Having the opportunity to go outside of Madison, study abroad with the UW-Madison, and have it be affordable was an opportunity that was unmatched anywhere else! I know I will learn and grow through my study abroad experience and through the courses offered through UW-Madison, which was all I could ever ask for in my college experience.
I am most interested in learning more about British politics and history. I am really interested in finding similarities and differences of structures, history, and policies in the UK and the United States. I am also excited to learn more about theater and the arts because it is an area I am not as familiar with.
Something unique about me is I spoke three languages by the time I was three… but now I only know one.
Major: French Education/ International Relations Hometown: Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
The DeWolf Family Scholarship, along with the program is the reason I am so excited for my enrollment in UW-Madison. I didn’t originally plan on going to UW-Madison, but the stars truly aligned for me. After hearing about the program, I was not sure if it would be an option due to finances, but the DeWolf Scholarship kept the door open for me.
I am most interested in learning what life is like in an international city like London. I am excited to experience cultures I have little to no interaction within Wauwatosa.
Something unique about me is that I speak French and am currently learning Russian and Mandarin!
Major: Currently undecided but thinking about Anthropology or Communications Hometown: Hudson, Wisconsin
The Global Launch program as well as the scholarship definitely impacted my decision to enroll in Madison. UW-Madison was already one of my top choices but having a study abroad program for freshmen is a very unique opportunity that most colleges don’t have, and I think the fact that they have these resources to help expose students to these opportunities in an accessible way says a lot about the school!
I am most interested to learn about the culture of another country and just the little things that are different culture wise that I never really thought about.
Something unique about me is that I have been a competitive dancer for 10 years and my passion and interest for culture and travel stemmed a lot from hearing my dad’s stories about his time overseas and working abroad!
Major: Business or Geographic Information Systems Hometown: Seattle, Washington
The scholarship incentivized me to commit to enrolling at UW-Madison. I was already keen on the program, and just studying abroad in general, and this option gave me the opportunity to be abroad for a whole year but also be in Madison for my remaining time. Without the scholarship, it was still a good opportunity, but with that incentive, I felt it was too good of an opportunity to turn down.
I don’t have a specific thing which I am looking forward to more than others, I am just excited to explore. This program allows me to branch out and hopefully find new interests or strengths.
Something unique about me is I love baking and cooking.
Major: Psychology Hometown: Wausau, Wisconsin
I’m most interested in learning about the culture and the people, especially comparing them to America’s culture.
Something unique about me is that I collect squishmallows which are stuffed animals.
Spring 2022 Cohort
Major: Political Science & English Hometown: Sauk Prairie, Wisconsin
When I return from London I hope to be more empathetic. Being exposed to a new culture will change my view of not only London but of the entire world.
With solid and deeply personal evidence of what another country is like, even just a single country, I can look at my home country with a whole new lens.
Something unique about me: I am an avid creative writer.
Major: Linguistics Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
I am an inherently curious person, and I want to study abroad so that I can learn new subjects and gain new perspectives.
I am optimistic about what I will experience and learn, and I am certain it will become a lasting part of my character.
Something unique about me: I can speak some Russian and I play the cello.
Anticipated Major: Community & Environmental Sociology Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
I want to gain as much knowledge as I am able to while in London – both inside and outside of the classroom, and I know that surrounding myself and then engaging with new people, places, and ideas will allow me to grow both my empathy and humility while I am studying abroad.
Something unique about me: I like photography.
Major: Political Science & Economics Hometown: Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
This time in London would be an amazing chance to expand my knowledge and broaden my worldview. I think that meeting new people from different backgrounds educates us to be more well-rounded global citizens. I hope that learning more about the culture in London will help me understand people better. I believe that traveling educates you to change your worldview for the better.
Something unique about me: I love to travel and it is my goal to visit all 50 states in the U.S.
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Tommy: In the first weekend that I was in London, I did a lot of walking. I walked to an entirely different neighborhood for my government-required COVID test, and found that there was a very noticeable shift in the types of shops and the behavior of the people on the sidewalk between where we are living and where I ended up in just an hour’s walk to the west. A few days later, I walked from near Piccadilly Circus back to the west where we live after seeing an FIE-organized West End theatre performance on the first weekend. I passed by tourist-centered areas, I passed by 18th and 19th century buildings and contemporary-style buildings, I passed by expensive hotels and upscale shops, I passed by green spaces, and I passed by memorials to victorious leaders. Even today, I am still surprised to see the medieval next to the modern, and the antiquated alongside the avant-garde.
Shannon: Now that we’re a month in, the reality of studying abroad in London has finally sunk in. The first two weeks were full of settling in and starting classes, but now that I have a routine, I really feel like I’m living here. I go to the same coffee shop every day, I know which tube lines go to which parts of London (although I’m pretty directionally challenged so I still get confused by east and west-bound), and I have specific routes I like to walk along when it’s nice out. Plus, there’s so much to do and see! I’ve visited lots of museums and galleries with my classes and have also seen a few theatre productions. The best part is that most museums here are free, so I can visit whenever I want. My favorite part so far was our day trip to Oxford last Sunday. We had a tour guide show us around the town and college, and then we had time to go explore for ourselves. I went to see the Bodleian Library’s Divinity School (seen in the picture), which I was really excited about because it was the set of the infirmary in the first Harry Potter movie. I also climbed 127 (very steep) stairs in the Oxford University Church to the tower, which gave me a really amazing view of the whole town. That trip specifically was with all of the UW Madison kids, but I’m hoping to take some day trips on my own to other parts of England in the next few months. I am also really looking forward to starting our service project after spring break. I can’t believe we only have 3 months left here!
Henry: I can hardly believe it’s been 4 weeks in London already, time has just flown by. The picture I have attached is actually a picture of Oxford and not London, but that’s because all my pictures of London are very overcast and grey. Fortunately it has been relatively rain free and I’ve been told it has been warmer than usual, but the clouds still refuse to let the sun through. Since the weather has been so mild I have been trying to visit as many boroughs as possible. I really enjoy how different parts of this city feel very distinct from each other, which isn’t surprising as the growth of this city has been centuries in the making. Still, I am surprised when I am walking along a series of Victorian town houses and then suddenly stumble upon a skyscraper. Another thing that has come as a pleasant surprise is the way a rainbow of cultures seep through this city. The whole ‘you are more likely to hear a foreign language than English’ on the street is very true. The restaurants here are great as well, as any of the world’s food options are just a bus or tube ride away. I have never had so many different foods before in my life. All of this leads me believe that London is the place explore. You don’t have to find adventure here, it finds you.
Leah: It was a little surreal stepping of the plane and thinking, ‘wow, I’m in London right now’. And not just that I was in London, but the fact that I would be living and studying here for four months. I have never lived in a place this big before, so being able to get on the tube and go anywhere was a new experience for me. So far, we have taken many class trips around the city, and I love how the entirety of London is our classroom. My favorite trip so far was the visit to the British Museum for our British Life and Cultures class. I thought it was incredible seeing all the famous artifacts from around the world such as the Parthenon Marbles and Rosetta Stone, as well as sparking an interesting discussion over these contested artifacts and whether or not they actually belong at the British Museum. I look forward to exploring more of this amazing city and learning about its extensive history.
Places: Routine & Favorite
Shannon: My favorite place to explore in London has been Brick Lane. We took a tour of the area for our British Life and Cultures class, and I immediately fell in love with the history and street art. Brick Lane is an archive of memories from different people and cultures, and it was really cool to see how those narratives are still present today. I loved the smells coming from different restaurants, many of which were Indian, but the best was in the beigel shop I visited while exploring after the tour. I thought it was interesting that the shop used the original spelling of the word bagel – not to mention it was the best bagel I’ve ever had. The coolest part of Brick Lane, however, has to be its street art. It was everywhere I looked, and there were even some designs that I recognized. The prints of Amy Winehouse that I found in a few different places were my favorites. I’m definitely going to visit Brick Lane again soon to check out all of the vintage stores and get another bagel.
A routine place I visit is the study lounge in the basement of Metrogate. While I do like to study at coffee shops, I end up here a lot of the time since it’s in my building. There’s almost always a few other students in here as well, which is nice because being around other people helps me focus when I’m studying. There are lots of outlets which are very convenient, and during the day the skylight in the ceiling lets in a lot of really nice natural light. It’s also a good spot to work on group projects or hang out while you wait for your laundry to finish.
Henry: My favorite part of London to explore is the Camden Town area. Camden Town is most well-known for the Camden Market, one of the biggest in London. It has an amazing array of shops and an even better selection of food choices. You can find street foods from all over the world here. One cool thing about Camden Town is that it’s located on a series of canals, which are very nice to take walks on. Finally, the best part about the Camden Town area are the adjacent parks. Regent’s Park, like all the other royal parks, is a really nice place to go on a sunny day. However, Primrose Hill is my favorite park in the area, as it easily offers the best view of the city skyline.
When you come to London you use public transportation a lot. The London Underground, or as it’s colloquially known The Tube, will be the transportation you use the most around here, as it is the quickest way to travel across this traffic bogged city. The Tube is clean, fast, and easy to use, so it’s no wonder 1.35 billion people every year. At first it may seem daunting, 11 main lines, the Overground, the DLR, Trams, and other National Rail services each threaten to overwhelm you. However, using your common sense as well as the Tfl app, it’s not that bad really. Within just a week you will find yourself using London’s transportation system like a pro.
Tommy: My favorite place to explore in London is the City of London, which is a borough within London itself. The incredible history there makes it one of my favorite places. The first settlement in present-day London was by the ancient Romans. They built a walled city, and the borders of that city is the City of London today; even some of that original ancient stone wall is still standing. Throughout the centuries, that space was still the heart of London, and it is evident in the buildings. In walking around for just ten minutes, one would see a 1st century stone wall, an 11th century castle, and a 21st century award-winning environmentally sustainable building, among so much more. The contrast of architectural styles and eras, along with the vast history of this area, in addition to it being riddled with buildings of great importance (e.g. the Bank of England) makes it a truly unique place to experience. The picture is of the Millennium Bridge (built in the 20th century) that leads to St. Paul’s Cathedral (built in the 17th century); I feel it accurately captures the continual development of the area with newer infrastructure, making it a wonderful collage of architecture.
My routine place is the Oscar Wilde Room, a classroom in Foundation House where I have two classes. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings, I hike up to the 2nd floor (American translation: 3rd floor). One of the classes I have is Harry Potter. Upon walking in, there are windows straight ahead, two-three dozen identical blue tablet desks set up in rows facing the right, where there is a chair and a desk for the teacher facing them (left) and a smart projector behind that. The other class is one of my UW faculty courses: London and the Sense of Place. Instead of rows, all the seats are arranged in a circle for whole class discussions about the topic for the day and for a more communal environment. I’ve learned many fascinating things in this classroom, yet the most important is that I learned that I can hear pitches higher than others. There is an irritatingly high pitched sound that comes from near the door, and it seems I’m the only one that can hear it, probably because I’m the youngest in the classroom.
Leah: The favorite place I chose was from Westminster. I thought it was interesting to visit because that’s where you can find a lot of the attractions that people typically first think of when they think of London, such as Big Ben and the London Eye. It was surreal being there because it truly felt like I was in London when standing below and looking up at Big Ben. It’s funny because I’ve always had a glamorous image of it in my head and currently its mostly covered in scaffolding, which made it feel even more real.
This second image is from the coffee shop where I often go to work on homework. It’s typically hard to find somewhere to sit at a lot of the nearby coffee shops so I like this one in Victoria because it’s normally not as busy since it’s in the middle of an area with a lot of construction and also not as loud as some of the other places.
Our Global Classroom
Leah: The learning environment here is been incredible because of how much learning we do outside of a traditional classroom setting. This picture was taken during our walking tour of Brick Lane for our British Life and Cultures class. Our tour guide, Pete, showed us the famous street art culture of the area and we even got to see a Banksy. In addition, we got an in-depth history lesson about its multiculturism, women’s rights, and a firsthand experience about the housing issues in London and what it’s like to be homeless. All of our excursions outside of the classroom has enriched our knowledge because we are experiencing things that we wouldn’t have learned from reading it in a textbook.
Henry: If you are a part of UW Global Launch, you will go here during your time in London. It’s the British Museum, one of the largest and most comprehensive museums in the world. The Rosetta Stone, sculptures from the Parthenon, Easter Island statues, and how the museum acquired these treasures; there are a million lessons to be learned here. Learning in London means exploring London, and as a student in UW Global Launch you can expect plenty of opportunities given to you to do so in and out of class time.
Thomas: The concept of having London as the classroom is an integral part of FIE’s curriculum. Not only do the teachers and staff come from different backgrounds, within and outside of London, but in all my classes we have gone out to experience firsthand the things we discuss in class. In my classes, we have talked about topics like community, types of theatre, and immigration/gentrification, but going out and volunteering ourselves, seeing theatre productions, and being in the very spaces that were gentrified from historically immigrant neighborhoods is altogether different.
Shannon: A really cool aspect of our Art & Theatre course is that a lot of our class time isn’t spent inside an actual classroom, but instead at shows and art galleries. We get to see new art and performances every week, which I think is a really effective way to actually learn about it, because we get to experience it. This is very different from most traditional classes, which are just spent in a classroom. Additionally, the work that we get to see brings in a lot of different themes from all over the world. A few weeks ago we saw a show put on by the Belarus Free Theatre, and it was completely in Belarusian. It was the first time I had ever been to a live show that had to be translated through subtitles, and it was a really cool experience.
We have also seen a few different things that relate to British-Caribbean history, including a really engaging gallery called “Life Between Islands” at the Tate Britain, and a show called “Small Island” at the National Theatre. This class has been one of my favorites because of the opportunities we have to see performances and art that we otherwise may not even know about.
Leah: My first placement is at the Moorfields Eye Hospital. I work “front desk” which means that I hand out masks to patients who don’t have one and help give directions so they can find their wards or clinics. I enjoy this placement because I have met people from all over the world and already witnessed so much in just the past two weeks. It is an NHS hospital, so it has been interesting to see how the healthcare system differs in the UK than in the US. The network of volunteers there are all incredibly helpful and have made it an easy transition so far. My second placement is at St Andrews Barnsbury primary school where I assist a Year 4 class. Similarly to the hospital, it is so fascinating seeing how the school system differs, especially being at a smaller and religious school. I only recently found out that Head Boy and Girl is a real thing, but I have now discovered that it’s a thing as early as primary school.
Henry: As a part of the UW Global Launch program, we’ve been asked to volunteer with some local community organizations. I have been helping out at the Venture Community Center, a community center and adventure playground that focuses on giving kids the tools and freedom to have fun as they see fit. It’s all about making sure that the kids have the freedom to make mistakes and to learn, so my job there is a rather nuanced one. I have to make sure that they don’t do anything mind-bogglingly stupid, as kids do, while also allowing them to play in a way that allows them to make the most of their surroundings and imagination.
I have also been helping out with the Year 6’s (Grade 5) at St. Andrews Primary school on Caledonian Road. I’ve been a basic assistant in the classroom, but it’s been a lot of fun seeing the children’s excitement when it comes to learning.
Thomas: Since we have two different placements, I’ll talk about both of them. My first one is at the Charles Dickens Museum. My main role is to simply make myself available to guests if they have any questions. Since I am at a museum, learning is a natural and expected consequence. I’ve learned a lot about Charles Dickens himself, and the museum as a whole. My other placement is at St. Andrew’s Primary School. I’ve been helping the teacher with administrative things (e.g. making copies), while also helping the students themselves. It’s been good fun, and I’ve learned a little about the differences between the American and British education systems, since I’ve worked with the same age group before (1st grade in the US is Year 2 in the UK).
Shannon: My service learning placements are with the London School of Mosaic and the Bankside Open Spaces Trust. At LSoM, I have been helping out with a painting class for senior citizens, as well as doing other tasks around the school. The people there are really interesting to talk to, and love to tell me about anything and everything. Just the other day, I spoke to one of the mosaic artists there who told me that a large Roman mosaic has been discovered by the London Bridge, which I didn’t know about. It is a really encouraging and welcoming space, with not only mosaic classes, but also clay working, upcycling and sewing, painting, and drawing.
My other placement, BOST, is an organization that is working to preserve and enhance green spaces in London. I really enjoy this placement because I get to garden outside, and so far it’s been 60º and sunny every time I’ve volunteered. We go to different parks each session, which is cool because I’m getting more familiar with some of the neighborhoods in London now. One space we worked in was at a church, and their employees made us cups of tea while we gardened. My BOST volunteer group is pretty small, but very friendly and passionate about gardening. I feel really lucky to be working with both of these organizations and am really enjoying my experiences!
Student Global Leadership Conference
Thomas: At the Student Global Leadership Conference, one of the talks I attended was about the various responsibilities large corporations have, using Starbucks as an example. There were four, each was a tier in a pyramid. The bottom two were “economic responsibilities” and “legal responsibilities”; they were the most basic and essential ones that are required by society (i.e. make money and follow the law). The next tier was “ethical responsibilities”; integrity, fairness, people orientation, and responsibility are a few ethical qualities that are expected by society. The topmost one was “philanthropic responsibilities,” which are desired by society.
Henry: As a student here in London, we were given the opportunity to participate in an event put on by FIE called the Student Global Leadership Conference. This two day event taught us many things about leadership, but honestly there wasn’t some hidden truth of leadership given to us. Instead, we were left to consider what we personally could do in a leadership role, and how to best apply ourselves. Adapt to your situation, give what you can, do good; these were the key messages we were left with.
Leah: One of my group sessions discussed ethics in leadership. Students gave presentations about ethical dilemmas such as fast fashion, mob mentality, and Spotify paying their artists. It was very interesting hearing the presentation about the right v right dilemma of countries having carbon emissions restrictions versus letting less developed countries grow economically from industrialization. They talked about the three different ways to analyze an ethical dilemma, such as consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics. I thought the presentations were interesting because they brought up dilemmas where both options seem like the right option and taught useful skills about how to analyze a situation from different angles.
Shannon: One thing I discussed at the SGLC was how we can work to break through generational barriers with leadership. It was a really engaging conversation, because our session consisted of Gen X-ers, millennials, and Gen Z-ers like myself. In my group specifically, we discussed how when younger generations suggest changes in the workplace to their leaders they can come across as difficult or hard to work with, but a lot of the time having someone younger challenge an older concept or practice will bring about positive change. I thought it was really interesting to hear the perspectives of people older than me and relate them to my own experiences, and I think that the knowledge I got from this session will help me as I become more involved in workplace settings.